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The Monday Roundup: Edmonton’s Freezeway, Uber for trucks & more

Posted by on March 2nd, 2015 at 8:31 am

Ice skating transportation.
(Image: Edmonton Freezeway)

Here are the bike-related links from around the world that caught our eyes this week:

Skate to work: Edmonton has released renderings of its Freezeway proposal: ice-skating route by winter, separated bikeway by summer.

Uber for trucks: It’s arrived. Can it reduce truck volumes and cut freight costs?

Belay that order: After Salt Lake City required that fast-food restaurants allow biking through late-night windows after their floors close, the State of Utah is considering overruling the city.

Still rolling: This 93-year-old UK World War II veteran biked 3,500 miles last year, 10 to 20 miles a day.

Network explosion: Minneapolis is considering a plan to add 31 miles of protected bike lanes in the city by 2020.

Bike share struggles: Copenhagen’s bike share system, equipped with tablets to help you navigate the city, is far below usage and scale projections.

Parking problem: Space for free bike parking in Amsterdam is so scarce that the city is planning to build an underwater garage — for much less than it’d cost to build one for 7,000 cars, of course.

Pennsylvania hospitality: Advocacy group Bike Pittsburgh has organized eight local businesses to provide free coffee and hot chocolate to participants in the city’s first winter bike to work day.

Lock override: A California thief armed with either superpowers or a mysterious electronic remote unlocked an Audi to steal a $15,000 bicycle.

Unequal transportation: From slashed New Orleans bus lines to deadly amounts of particulate pollution in Buffalo, transportation policy remains a major source of U.S. racial inequality, writes Slate.

Youth rising: Last month’s Youth Bike Summit in Seattle marked the first year that kids at the annual event have outnumbered adults.

Freeway money: The state of Washington, already leading the nation in highway spending growth, is angling for a gas tax hike of 12 cents per gallon. How much money the deal would send to mass transit, biking and walking is up for debate.


Trend to watch: police-staffed safe spaces to meet up for Craigslist transactions.

Bike footrails: Seattle’s Department of Transportation has imported a new amenity from Europe.

Bike handrail at Blakeley and 25 Ave NE is in! Dig it. Nice work @seattledot

A photo posted by Anne-Marije (@amrook) on

Sidewalk funding: Rep. Julie Parrish (R-West Linn) and Rep. Shemia Fagan (D-East Portland) got into a public fight over whether city-owned sidewalks in Portland deserve state money.

Modern history: UK bike writer Carlton Reid’s latest book, Bike Boom, will be about the post-1970s revival of the vehicle. It’s available on Kickstarter starting at $12.50 for Kindle, $30 for print.

Signalized protection: Here’s an interesting example of lane-specific traffic lighting that can prevent right hooks into bike lanes.

Riding Hazel Dell: “I slog to get to the moments that matter,” writes Clark County resident Corbin Smith in an odd but charming diary of a week on his bike in the burbs.

Too-close citations: Advocacy group Bike Houston convinced their mayor to order bike cops to perform sting operations on people who violate the three-foot passing law while driving.

Bikemobile: Ford has patented a car with a removable bicycle frame tucked into its body.

Portland race: The would-be Grand Prix of Portland has been delayed a year, until 2016, presumably slowed by a search for sponsors.

Vision zero broken windows: There is a nonprofit dedicated to the eradication of vehicle-into-building crashes.

International model: Portland’s neighborhood greenway system is one of 10 global best practices for street design, according to Streetfilms. (Yes, its expansion is still stalled by cuts to the city’s active transportation budget.) The full list (which doesn’t have any spoken words, just action shots) is your video of the week:

If you come across a noteworthy bicycle story, send it in via email, Tweet @bikeportland, or whatever else and we’ll consider adding it to next Monday’s roundup.

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  • colton March 2, 2015 at 8:35 am

    When I think of hell, I imagine sitting on my bike sucking in the exhaust of cars while I wait at a drive-through.

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    • Pete March 2, 2015 at 9:41 am

      What boggles my mind is that a) the ‘issue’ has gone to the state senate level, and b) people actually think it’s dangerous. Nothing could be further from the truth. As someone who frequently bikes through drive-thru’s I can tell you the only real problem is that carbon fiber and titanium do not signal most of the magnetic loops used to tell the order-taker that someone is waiting. As far as “sharing roadways”, drive-thru’s are about the only place I can think of where drivers are driving slowly, cautiously, and paying full attention to what’s in front of them.

      I’ve been digging around the Internet for years to find a story of either a pedestrian or bicyclist hit in a drive-thru, but I gave up because all I can find are countless examples of drivers hitting the gas instead of the brake at drive-in convenience stores.

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    • Chris March 2, 2015 at 9:47 am

      I agree. Also, eating the food at most drive-throughs is hell.

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  • Dan March 2, 2015 at 8:43 am

    More bollards! ha ha

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  • Rduk90 March 2, 2015 at 8:54 am

    Bike valet at restaurants?! Now that’s a great idea!

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    • Clark in Vancouver March 2, 2015 at 12:57 pm

      It’s very telling of what’s really behind this from this: “Provo Republican Sen. Curtis Bramble asked whether bicycle valet service would be the next right demanded by cyclists.”

      It shows that they’re not really thinking of safety but are really just interested in some sort of class war thing where they believe that cyclists are undeserving and overdemanding. They’ve decided (or had it decided for them) that cyclists are bad and want to take away your car or whatever they think, and they’re not going to give “the enemy” an inch.

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      • matt picio March 2, 2015 at 3:07 pm

        Exactly, because SLC already has such a problem with the car valet service which was previously demanded.

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  • 9watts March 2, 2015 at 9:00 am

    Ford patent application: that looks like a terrible transformer. Maybe they don’t know about Bromptons?

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    • gutterbunnybikes March 2, 2015 at 4:16 pm

      Volvo and Ford each doing bikey stuff….Kind of a reverse of the late 1800’s early 1900’s when most the bike manufacturers went from bikes to making cars. Is the industry perhaps returning to it roots? Would be interesting if a car manufacturer go into making bicycles as well.

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      • Jeff Bernards March 3, 2015 at 12:09 am

        Ford is marketing itself as a transportation company, they have several e-bikes too.

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  • Dave Thomson March 2, 2015 at 9:04 am

    According to the article you linked the SLC law does not legalize bikes in drive throughs, it requires restaurants to allow bikes in drive throughs if the dining area is closed. Quite different than what your summary says.

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  • Rick March 2, 2015 at 9:12 am

    Greenways are great and it helps people visualize neighborhoods.

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  • q`Tzal March 2, 2015 at 9:17 am

    I want to understand the crackhead reasoning that says it is easier to rob a drive through window on a bicycle than a 4 wheeled vehicle or a motorcycle.

    Why not ban motorcycles too?
    Why bother having any contact with the public? They could send food to customers from behind armored glass through pneumatic tubes like old fashioned banks used to.

    For every morsel of irrational fear these *******s gobble down like candy there is a perfectly easy way to do the same thing from a car or truck; they simply lack the imagination to fear what they’ve blindly accepted as safe.

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    • Psyfalcon March 2, 2015 at 1:51 pm

      I like the tubes. Someone should do that.

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      • q`Tzal March 2, 2015 at 3:52 pm

        Rated throughput on my DSL connection in Beaverton: 7Mb up /700Kb down.
        Usual evening throughput on my DSL connection in Beaverton: 1.25Mb up /100Kb down.

        Throughput of an 8GB MicroSD card with a Netflix movie pre-loaded shot through a pneumatic tube to your house/apartment somewhere with 10 miles: A LOT faster.

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      • q`Tzal March 2, 2015 at 7:04 pm

        Derp, got my downs & ups backwards.

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    • Caleb March 3, 2015 at 8:44 am

      I thought the fear was that people on bicycles would be at risk of being robbed, assaulted, etc.

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      • Pete March 3, 2015 at 8:57 am

        Hand over the burger and nobody gets hurt…

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      • q`Tzal March 3, 2015 at 11:36 am

        The two vectors I hear most often are that:
        () pedestrians and cyclists will get run over by drivers that somehow achieve highway speeds in the tiny tight turns of a drive thru lane
        () it is somehow much easier to rob a drive thru window by jumping through than aiming a firearm from the car.

        I consider both of these a case of ignorance and lack of imagination. Ignorance is bliss for most and not being willing nor able to imagine how crime actually occurs is a detriment to the freedom of all citizens as fear mongers randomly shotgun splatter litigation everywhere trying stop “da bad guys”.

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        • Pete March 4, 2015 at 11:48 am

          …the ignorance born of a lack of actual experience.

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  • bjorn March 2, 2015 at 9:35 am

    Sounds like Rep. Johnny Anderson is just another guy trying to “start a conversation” about bike safety by picking something that there is no evidence causes any safety issues and banning it. Has anyone ever robbed a drive through on a bike? #greenlicking

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    • oliver March 2, 2015 at 10:18 am

      After being a lifelong customer, the very last time I ate at Taco Bell* was when I was denied service on my bicycle at the drive-through almost 10 years ago.

      *technically, it would have been the time before that.

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      • gutterbunnybikes March 2, 2015 at 4:18 pm

        Some of us would say they did you a favor and you should thank them.

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  • soren March 2, 2015 at 9:44 am

    “Portland’s neighborhood greenway system is one of the world’s top 10 best practices for street design, according to Streetfilms. (Yes, its expansion is still stalled by cuts to the city’s active transportation budget.)

    This is why I support a progressive street fee. Moreover, since a gas-tax increase is very unlikely due to the makeup of the oregon senate, I strongly believe cycling advocates should unite around Novick’s progressive street fee proposal.

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    • Terry D-M March 2, 2015 at 12:14 pm

      Absolutely develop a progressive new funding stream (I endorsed the Novick progressive proposal as well, and brought it forward to my NA, which endorsed it)….and prioritize funding of Greenways to bring them into the under-served neighborhoods of East Portland…for cheap, in comparison to other higher profile projects. Get the bike culture embedded, then work on expanding the more expressive infrastructure.

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  • are March 2, 2015 at 11:18 am

    the video on the separate signal phase shows the cyclist booking it through the second intersection because, hey, s/he has the green. the adjacent travel lanes, still red, appear to be forced right turn lanes.

    until that distant future arrives in which we have rewired everyone’s brain, i think it is a mistake to assume a motorist will not turn right despite the red signal, and i think it is a mistake for traffic engineers to encourage cyclists to make that mistake.

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    • Pete March 2, 2015 at 12:52 pm

      Excellent point, but unfortunately I think with the push for more “protected bikeways” this is what may be needed, including the less palatable (and often invisible) “No Right Turn On Red” – you’re dead correct about the “rewiring” issue.

      Also, how is signal phase initiated? I hope through video detection and not magnetic loops or a physical button that the cyclist has to press. We’ve had really good results (detecting peds and cyclists in various lighting) from updating 40 video systems here, but I’ve had horrible inconsistency with my bikes on magnetic loops, and I’ve yet to see a cyclist’s pushbutton that doesn’t take him/her off of the proper lane position to press it (and then basically become a pedestrian).

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  • Alex March 2, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    Please pardon my ignorance, but I’m having trouble figuring out the purpose of that “bike handrail” in the embedded Instagram photo. Any explanations welcome.

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    • Al Dimond March 2, 2015 at 1:01 pm

      That handrail is in Seattle where the Burke-Gilman Trail (one of our most popular bike routes) crosses 25th Ave NE. It’s an intersection where trail traffic typically has to wait a little, so they built a goofy little footrest. This was done along with an intersection safety project involving this intersection and the next one to the east.

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      • Steve Campbell March 2, 2015 at 1:57 pm

        And judging by the photo in the post, riders on the west side of the intersection probably aren’t going to use it because it so far back from the street.

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  • Steve Campbell March 2, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    All of the increased revenue raised by the increase to the gas tax in Washington is going to go to highway spending. All gas tax revenue in Washington can only be spent on highways according to the state constitution.

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    • Michael Andersen (News Editor)
      Michael Andersen (News Editor) March 2, 2015 at 2:03 pm

      Thanks, Steve. I’ll rephrase to make clearer that the package is likely to include both but only the freeway money will be gas-tax-funded.

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    • Cheif March 2, 2015 at 3:04 pm

      As per RCW 47.04.010, a “Highway” in Washington State is defined as:

      “Every way, lane, road, street, boulevard, and every way or place in the state of Washington open as a matter of right to public vehicular travel both inside and outside the limits of incorporated cities and towns”.

      It isn’t another word for “freeway” despite being used as such in normal conversation.

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  • Andy K March 2, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    Having the Grand Prix here this summer would have been awesome….I’m skeptical that it was all about money, though. Even with an unlimited budget, the approval and coordination of race route, public detours, enforcement, and safety issues is a 1-2 year process, and possibly a big enough obstacle to kill this event altogether.

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    • gutterbunnybikes March 2, 2015 at 4:24 pm

      Really, if I wanna watch cars drive fast and crash into each other I’ll just ride my bike a mile up the road to an I-205 overpass about 4 pm. No reroutes or any of the rest of the hassle.

      Of course I find car racing about as exciting as bike racing….which I don’t find interesting at all.

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    • wsbob March 2, 2015 at 8:17 pm

      Check out the now, ancient movie, Gran Prix. Or maybe it’s LeMans. Formula 1 cars racing really fast on a closed course, city streets. It’s kind of cool to watch on film. Actually being in a city, near where races like that are happening, isn’t my cuppa. Same goes for the criterium style of bike racing. Lots of people do like those things though, so for them, I’m glad if they have the opportunity to experience such races first hand. With luck and good planning and supervision, people make money and don’t get killed, either as a participant or a spectator.

      The grand tours of cycling, I enjoyed a lot when I saw them on television. Great camera work. Those races and downhill skiing, are a couple reasons I would like having cable for. For countries, cities, and residents of cities that host those races, it sounds like a chore. Hopefully, the effort and inconvenience is worth it for them.

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  • Al Dimond March 2, 2015 at 9:11 pm

    Steve Campbell
    And judging by the photo in the post, riders on the west side of the intersection probably aren’t going to use it because it so far back from the street.

    Well, yeah. One of the purposes was to set up a waiting area out of the way of people walking down 25th. Which puts it (in a weird way) in the category of bike infrastructure designed to “get them damn cyclists out of the way”.

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  • Jeff Bernards March 3, 2015 at 12:13 am

    It’s time BikePortland focused some of OUR Monday round-up on the new things that are happening with e-bikes. Your going to get more people out of cars and onto an E-bike before they will ride a regular bike.

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  • SW March 3, 2015 at 7:49 am

    i think it is a mistake to assume a motorist will not turn right despite the red signal, and i think it is a mistake for traffic engineers to encourage cyclists to make that mistake.
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    I ride springwater a couple of times a week. At the Bell Station diagonal crossing of JCB, when the bike crossing is activated , a large (3×3 ?) brightly lit “NO RIGHT TURN” sign is turned on. It’s bright enough to jump out even on a sunny day.
    Drivers look at it, look then for cross traffic and then sneak a right turn . The position of the green activation box is very close to the car next in line and the driver can be easily viewed by the cyclist.

    All you can do is shake your head or point a finger … they always get away with it.

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    • Opus the Poet March 3, 2015 at 1:09 pm

      They need to put something like “No right on red enforced by sniper” or other words to that effect, and the burned out, bullet-ridden hulk of a car on the corner for “effect”. Preferably a late-model high-end car, one of those blinged-out SUVs they take from drug dealers would be a great one to use.

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  • Todd Boulanger March 3, 2015 at 8:13 am

    With the “lack of sponsor” issue arising again in Portland…per the Portland Grand Prix postponement…this and the lack of sponsorship of bike share before…what is this trend (?) saying about corporate leadership in the City and State as a whole (other than say Moda)…say vs. Seattle and other cities? (Long Beach CA still has its Grand Prix.)

    Has Oregon lost too many corporate HQs and civic leaders to other big cities? Perhaps Portland will have to stay at the DIY level or self finance future initiatives. (I am not implying the Grand Prix event is an initiative or innovative, but the opposite…if old school car centric events have trouble here too, perhaps things are really stuck in neutral.)

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  • Todd Boulanger March 3, 2015 at 8:22 am

    PS. If the Portland Grand Prix flames out in 2016 too…perhaps this is a great time for the citizens of Portland to start the discussion about de-motorizing the PIR greenspace and envisioning its role as a public asset for the next 50 years. It is a public space managed by the Portland Parks bureau in an area already over affected by transportation and industrial air pollution from the adjoining Port, parked freighters in the shipping lanes, and the highways.

    Perhaps the Port can swing a green deal with Parks for improving this space as a mitigation for Hayden Island, assuming that Hayden Island must go through.

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    • Dan March 3, 2015 at 6:43 pm

      As an asset for dog walkers and bird watchers?

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